TECHNOLOGY

Road safety

Recently, the issue of traffic safety has quite wrongly taken a back seat in all public discussions related to CO2 and alternative propulsion systems.

Number of traffic fatalities is declining

The number of traffic fatalities in Germany dropped by 7.3% in 2016, reaching 3,206 fatalities. This still shows that the downward trend that we have been observing for more than 20 years is not a matter of course. There is still a lot to be done to reach the goal set by the German Federal Government, namely to reduce the number of people killed in road traffic by 40 percent until 2020 (in relation to 2010).



Active and passive security

With their innovations in the field of active and passive security, the international motor vehicle manufacturers have significantly contributed to the very positive development in traffic safety and will continue to do so in the future, as well. Modern driver assistance systems and their networking with various information sources, in particular, will play a more and more important role here. The international motor vehicle manufacturers are increasingly equipping their vehicles with driver assistance systems already now, which thanks to their improved environmental scanning and situation analysis capabilities assist drivers in performing their tasks and make driving more comfortable and safe.

Effective rescue chain

But despite all efforts to make vehicles and road transport even safer, it will not be possible to completely prevent accidents from happening in the future. The most important goal in case of an accident is to make the rescue chain as short, fast and efficient as possible. In order to achieve this and make it easier for rescue teams to fulfill their tasks, the VDIK and the VDA together with DAT and in collaboration with the Federal Transport Ministry have initiated a trend-setting project that has already been successfully implemented. By means of a software specifically designed by DAT, firefighters and other rescue personnel can now use an online license plate look-up service to quickly call up the pertinent rescue data sheet for a vehicle that has been involved in an accident and to thus take into account the specific vehicle-related information in their rescue work. Such information is of great relevance especially when dealing with hybrid and electric vehicles. The project financed by the automotive industry enjoys active support from the ADAC. All emergency rescue workers across Germany are currently being equipped with said online look-up service.

In a concerted effort, the various parties involved (vehicle manufacturers, fire departments and ADAC) and the towing companies and Deutsche Gesetzliche Unfallversicherung (DGUV) have not only prepared the rescue data sheets but have also developed a guide on how to assist and recover vehicles with a high-voltage system that have been involved in an accident. This guide contains all major technical aspects of electrically or partially electrically powered passenger cars and light commercial vehicles that need to be considered, from rescuing to recovering, towing and securely transporting a vehicle to a suitable pound.



eCall

With its Regulation (EU) 2015/758, the EU Commission has resolved to introduce the Europe-wide automatic emergency call system eCall. According to that Regulation, all new vehicle types belonging to vehicle classes M1 and N1 will be equipped with a firmly installed on-board eCall system based on the 112 emergency call number as of 31 March 2018. However, drivers will still be able to use the emergency call system provided by their automobile manufacturer instead of the 112-based eCall. These systems in combination with the rescue data sheets available online through DAT's software will hence in the future constitute an important step towards further increasing traffic safety.